The ultimate litmus test of your faith is how extensively it transforms your character and conduct into the imitation of God.
This principle is taught repeatedly in Scripture. In the book of Romans, for example, the apostle Paul’s pen carefully leads its readers through a thorough examination of the glorious gospel (Romans 1:18-11:32); it fittingly ends in exalted praise of God’s wisdom and knowledge (Romans 11:33-36). Immediately after this, Paul entreats his brethren to see to it that this wondrous gospel impact their daily living and transform their thinking. He writes, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).
In the Psalter, the praiseworthiness of Jehovah from “a to z” is announced and described in Psalm 111; the next Psalm (112) uses the same acrostic format to describe the complete blessedness of the man whose character and conduct is transformed by his faith: “Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments” (Psalm 112:1).
Sound doctrine (i.e. healthy teaching) is not an end in itself. It is a means to an end. It is the nutritious spiritual diet that God has given to transform us into conformity with His glorious, holy nature. Psalm 112 details the blessedness of such a transformation. The Lord’s righteousness endures forever (Psalm 111:3); so does the man who fears the Lord and delights greatly in His commandments (Psalm 112:3). The Lord is gracious and full of compassion (Psalm 111:4); so is the man who fears the Lord and delights greatly in His commandments (Psalm 112:4).
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10).
It is also the beginning of the transformation which will ultimately culminate in eternal glory (1 John 3:2; Philippians 3:21).